BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Despite what may be long odds, a Birmingham city councilman is pushing to bring the Oakland Raiders to Legion Field later this year.
The Oakland Raiders do not have a lease agreement to continue to play their games in California. The team is moving to Las Vegas next year. Birmingham City Councilman William Parker, who sits on the Park and Recreation Board, says why not Birmingham.
“You have to think out of the box sometimes. We know it will be a one year marriage, but we are at the alter waiting for the Raiders to walk down the aisle,” Parker said.
Parker has contacted a Tucson attorney who, similarly, wants to bring the Raiders to their city for the year. The idea would be to split the games between the two cities. Parker said he has spoken with what he calls folks in the Raiders community, but not the Raiders owner Mark Davis or the NFL.
“It’s a work in progress. We are excited to have the collaboration with the city of Tucson. I think it’s a unique approach,” Parker said.
Legion Field is set to receive $2.5 million in renovations, including new turf, this year.
Gene Hallman with the Bruno Event Team says the biggest obstacle for Birmingham is geography. Birmingham is a long way from California and Nevada. “It’s worthy of having dialogue to see what the Raiders need and to see if it could possibly happen. It’s a long shot, but it sends a positive signal we are being aggressive,” Hallman said.
On Tuesday, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin told the Birmingham City Council he and his administration are not involved in any talks with the Raiders or the NFL.
Parker said the next step is to set up a meeting with Oakland owner Mark Davis and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.